Whispering Jack

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Most famously associated with singer Whispering Jack Smith (1898-1950), but in earlier use as a nickname.

Noun[edit]

Whispering Jack (plural Whispering Jacks)

  1. (informal) A person who vocalizes quietly, in a whispering manner, or, ironically, one who is loud and outspoken.
    • 1879 Jan., "A Night with Burglars" in Gleason's Monthly Companion, vol. 8, no. 1, p. 281 (Google preview):
      The two who sat at a table in an obscure corner of the room were the noted burglars "Whispering Jack" and "Jim the Cracksman," as they were nick-named by their associates.
    • 1981 March 8, John S. Wilson, "Barbara Cook—Pop and Polish," New York Times (retrieved 27 July 2014):
      [T]he microphone enabled a Whispering Jack Smith to make a rhythmic mumble pass for singing and gave Bing Crosby a means of taking advantage of his casual, intimate style.
    • 2002, J. John Loughran, Developing Reflective Practice, ISBN 9781135717230, p. 136 (Google preview):
      Case 3 Whispering Jack: Jack was a quiet and perceptive young man who was well respected by his peers.
    • 2004, Ray Scott, Street Justice, ISBN 9781413452273, p. 55 (Google preview):
      Under the lone operating streetlight, Whispering Jack comes into full view. . . . In his usual low tone, . . . Jack speaks in the manner that earned him his nickname.
    • 2005 Dec. 28, "John Travis Garrett," ancestry.com (retrieved 27 July 2014):
      Some referred to him as "Whispering Jack" for his booming voice while many others called him Pappy.
    • c. 2009, B. J. Sears, "Reddington's Phonelescope," Professor Sears' Technological Rarities (retrieved 27 July 2014):
      Whispering Jack Reddington graduated from the Colorado School of Mines in 1899 and began his career as a mining engineer. His real passion however, was the transmission and amplification of sound waves.

See also[edit]